The best way to buy a camera as a tourist in the US?

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by JohaN, Apr 26, 2005.

  1. JohaN

    JohaN Guest

    I'm buying myself a EOS 20D the next time I'm visiting the US. (That way I
    can save about 35 % when I don't have to pay Swedish taxes and duty...) I'm
    visiting friends in NM and TX (Albuquerque, Las Cruces and El Paso).

    What do you think is the best way to buy the camera? I run into trouble with
    many US Internet stores since I have a Swedish credit card and no US
    address. I also want to avoid any trouble with the delivery since I only
    stay in one place (within the US) for a few days at the time.

    What stores are really reliable and would consider keeping a specific camera
    in store for me on a specific date? Or is there a smart way to solve this
    over the Internet and arrange the delivery to my friends in NM/TX?
    JohaN, Apr 26, 2005
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  2. JohaN

    Jeremy Nixon Guest

    Have your friend order it, and then you pay him when you get there.

    Trying to order it with your Swedish credit card for delivery to a US
    address is probably going to cause a problem, yes.

    Note that if you buy the camera in a store, you will have to pay sales
    tax. For the two states you are planning to visit: Texas has a sales
    tax of 6.25%, and New Mexico doesn't have sales tax but does have what
    they call a "gross receipts tax", and since the store will pass it on
    to the customer, it amounts to the same thing, and varies from 5% to
    just over 7%. If that still works out to be cheaper, that might be
    the way to go if you don't want to ask your friend to lay out the
    money for you.
    Jeremy Nixon, Apr 26, 2005
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  3. As a Texan who stays up nights thinking of way to be our actually 8
    1/2% sales taxes, the best way would be for his friends to but it from
    some place like B&H or Amazon and completely avoid the tax issue. I
    will also point out those places where he's going with the possible
    exception of El Paso will not have Camera Stores with competitive

    "...bray a fool in a morter with wheat,
    yet shall not his folly be beaten out of him;.."

    "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell"
    William Blake
    John A. Stovall, Apr 26, 2005
  4. JohaN

    Jeremy Nixon Guest

    Geez, they raised it? I even went to Google to verify before posting... :)
    Jeremy Nixon, Apr 26, 2005
  5. JohaN

    Wayne Fulton Guest

    Texas state sales tax is 6.25%, but cities add local sales tax, so that most
    places total 8.25%. El Paso and most cities have 8.25% sales tax.
    Wayne Fulton, Apr 26, 2005
  6. That's the state rate but every county, city and out house can add
    local options to that and they have. This how the City Arlington
    added 1/4% to their sales to tax to build a losing baseball team a new
    ball park.

    Flavors of Texas State Sales tax.

    State - 6 1/4% (.0625)

    City - 1/4% (.0025) - 2% (.02), depending on local rate.

    County - 1/2% (.005) - 1.5% (.015), depending on local rate.

    Transit - 1/4 % (.0025) - 1% (.01), depending on local rate.

    Special Purpose Districts - 1/8% (.00125) - 2% (.02), depending on
    local rate.

    I don't know of any place in Texas has the base state rate.

    Oh, cars sales tax is based on State rate only.

    But the slice of fresh strawberry pie I had Sunday in Hi co, Texas had
    8 1/4% tax on it...


    "The condition of civil affairs in Texas is anomalous,
    singular, and unsatisfactory."

    Maj. Gen. Philip H. Sherdan
    Bvt. Maj. Gen. John A. Rawlins
    November 14, 1866
    John A. Stovall, Apr 26, 2005
  7. JohaN

    Alan Browne Guest

    In Quebec, general foodstuff is not taxed. Unless purchased hot from
    the oven in a boulangerie, croissanterie, bagel house. Then it's a hot
    food service and then it's taxed. Twice. Even the first tax is taxed.
    Total is 15% and a hair.

    Alan Browne, Apr 27, 2005
  8. JohaN

    Sheldon Guest

    Any major US discount stores that sell electronics should have what you

    Office Max
    Office Depot
    Circuit City
    Best Buy

    Know what you want before you go, however, as the service and advice in
    these stores can be pretty bad, but they are popular American discount
    stores that will sell you legit equipment without much hassle. Some of
    these places will let you order over the Net and will hold the item in the
    store, but you can usually just go in and buy it. Many also have low price
    guarantees, although the guarantee does not apply to prices you find on the

    Also, most stores will exchange any camera that is not working within so
    many days, so I would start using it immediately, as I'm sure you probably
    will anyway.
    Sheldon, Apr 27, 2005
  9. JohaN

    JohaN Guest

    Gee, there's lots of things about US taxes that I didn't know! Thanks for
    all input!

    As a comparison I can tell you that in Sweden they put on 25 % of taxes on
    all merchandise except books (5 %) and food (18 %). In addition we have duty
    an most privately imported stuff and extra taxes on for example gas. Current
    pricing on gas is 11 SEK per liter, approximately 5 USD per gallon.
    JohaN, Apr 27, 2005
  10. JohaN

    JohaN Guest

    Any major US discount stores that sell electronics should have what you
    I'll look into that.
    Yes I will... :)

    JohaN, Apr 27, 2005
  11. JohaN

    Ken Tough Guest

    How good friends, are your friends? The best thing would be for you
    to pay money into their credit card (you can do it online), and then
    they order it from B&H for you, to be delivered to their house.
    Ken Tough, Apr 27, 2005
  12. JohaN

    leo Guest

    I read that in New York Times that the living standard of many
    Scandinavian countries are pretty low. Many office workers in Norway
    bring their sandwich. On the other hand, many Spaniards eat out and
    French people would have wine with their lunch. ;)

    Living in New York is very tough but when comparing to many European
    country, it's still better off.
    leo, Apr 27, 2005
  13. JohaN

    Alan Browne Guest

    I would argue that most Americans eating lunch are not getting the
    nutrition of most Europeans regardless of whether they are brownbagging
    it or eating out. It is also common in Europe to walk to lunch, which
    might be in a cafeteria (often shared by several companies) or
    restaurant that is a km or more away. Walk to a three course lunch,
    which can easilly take an 45-min to an hour, and walk back. Very healthy.

    By that standard European standard of living is much higher than the US.

    French, Italians, Germans, others have wine or beer with their lunch,
    but usually just one glass. Personally, I avoid this here or when in
    Europe as it makes me drowsy in the afternoon. Some meetings are boring
    enough without lunch+wine to aid one into the arms of Morpheus.

    Alan Browne, Apr 27, 2005
  14. JohaN

    leo Guest

    Hahaha... I think you have to read all whole article. It was about a
    week or two ago. It's not the matter of how health was their diet but
    how much money they could spend. It even mentioned that the hospital in
    Norway runs out of cough medicine, etc. Sweden isn't much better off and
    when they compare the EU as a whole to 50 individual states of USA, EU,
    all of them together, surprisingly rank quite low.
    leo, Apr 27, 2005
  15. JohaN

    Alan Browne Guest

    Again, spending money is a false measure of quality of life. Spend
    $5.00 at McD or spend $4.00 to brownbag a lunch, and guess who has the
    better lifestyle?
    Now you're boiling over into what are admin/budget issues at hospitals.

    Swedes are generally healthier than most Europeans. We won't even touch
    on Americans.

    Alan Browne, Apr 27, 2005
  16. One of the more interesting metrics is the average height of the members
    of a population. Using that metric, the northern part of Europe does very

    (I am not sure how to compare individual wealth between countries. You
    can't just compare the average buying power, because that allows a small
    number of very rich people to skew the results.)
    Philip Homburg, Apr 27, 2005
  17. In this case you need to use "median buying power" (take whole population into
    consideration, sort them according to the attribute in question and take
    the one in the middle of the list), except that nobody collects nor
    publishes such a measure. For the obvious reasons.


    Dragan Cvetkovic,

    To be or not to be is true. G. Boole No it isn't. L. E. J. Brouwer

    !!! Sender/From address is bogus. Use reply-to one !!!
    Dragan Cvetkovic, Apr 27, 2005
  18. JohaN

    Alan Browne Guest

    Socialized medicine and other government provided social services skew
    them further.
    Alan Browne, Apr 27, 2005
  19. JohaN

    Ken Tough Guest

    Norway has topped the standard of living indexes for the last
    couple of years, and has been in the top ten for ages.

    Bringing a bag lunch doesn't mean bad standard of living; it
    probably just means good nutrition. Measuring standard of living
    is a tough thing. Because an american can buy a 5 lb lump of
    "cheese" or a 2 litre cup of coke, for the same money as 100g
    of real cheese, does that imply better standard of living?

    Health care in scandinavia is great, and universal. On the
    whole, the 1970's fact of a 70 yr old swede being as healthy
    as a 40 yr old canadian is even more applicable today. Both
    father and mother get six months to a year off when a child
    is born. Holidays average around 6 to 8 weeks per year
    (compared to the Namerican 2 or 3).

    If your life revolves around alcohol, cigarettes, and petrol,
    then scandinavia won't be for you. Anyway, to each his own.
    Ken Tough, Apr 28, 2005
  20. JohaN

    JohaN Guest

    It's been extremely interesting to read everything y'all have said (so far).
    I think I now know what I need and I have a few options, when it comes to
    buying the camera.

    But on the front "living standards and taxes", keep it coming! As a Swedish
    citizen myself, I just might give you my side of the story... There are both
    pros and cons about paying 55 % of your income in taxes, at least when it
    comes to (almost) free healthcare, free schools, free collages and a decent
    JohaN, Apr 28, 2005
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